People of color in the United States face worsening environmental conditions and disproportionate environmental harms. Climate change is causing hurricanes to ravage our coasts with increasing intensity and frequency, tornados to sweep across our plains even in the “off” season, and severe flooding that threatens to wipe out entire towns. Moreover, people of color must disproportionately deal with heat and air pollution, toxic waste dumps, contaminants in drinking water, failing aged sanitation systems, negative health effects, and the lack of access to a true remedy, outside of their own pockets, for these injustices. While there is a robust environmental movement in the United States, widespread environmental racism persists. Focusing on recent developments in environmental human rights law, this article provides encouragement, guidance, and practical tips to environmental justice attorneys looking to add additional advocacy tools to their tool box to expand environmental human rights protections for people of color in the United States.
Bartlett, Lauren, Human Rights Guidance for Environmental Justice Attorneys. University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, vol. 98, 2020.